Tackling COVID-19 with nature and people at the center

In Peru, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the gaps in access to information and basic services, including public health, for more than 2,000 indigenous communities living in the heart of the Amazon. Less than 1 in 3 communities have direct access to hospitals and less than 1 in 100 have proper containment capabilities. With a collapsing public health sector, a lack of effective communication channels, and the ever-growing threat of climate change, joint and swift action is needed more than ever.

UNDP'S Response 

To strengthen these communities’ ability to respond to the pandemic, UNDP draws on decades-long partnerships with international cooperation, community-based networks, the private sector, civil society and every level of government. Under the leadership of national state ministries, UNDP is strengthening capacities of both the communities and local state agencies to monitor, respond and recover from health and socioeconomic impacts, improving geolocation systems to target interventions and rolling out awareness raising campaigns in indigenous languages on preventive health measures.

This key strategy also entails support to multi-stakeholder and multi sectoral territorial coordination platforms, to ensure that humanitarian and development services reach the communities efficiently and through a culturally sensitive lens. Through bottom-up and rights-based participation, community representatives engage with government authorities and private enterprises to design and implement joint contingency plans, economic recovery strategies, address health and education needs, and strengthen resilient livelihoods options with nature and people at the center of development.

Focal Points

  • James Leslie
    Technical Advisor Ecosystems and Climate Change
    UNDP Peru